Friday, February 8, 2019

HILLSONG UNITED RELEASES NEW SINGLE “AS YOU FIND ME,” OUT TODAY WITH LIVE PERFORMANCE VIDEO

HIGHLY ANTICIPATED U.S. ARENA TOUR KICKS OFF IN APRIL,
MARKING UNITED’S FIRST RETURN TO THE STATES IN NEARLY THREE YEARS

LOS ANGELES (February 8, 2019) — Multi-platinum selling Hillsong UNITED announces the release of their brand new single “As You Find Me.” Out today with accompanying live performance video, the track features lead vocals from UNITED’s Tulele Faletolu, who joins with Taya’s accompanying vocals in a declaration of God’s unrelenting love and grace for all humanity. You can listen to and watch the song here.

“As You Find Me” releases on the heels of the group’s most recent singles “Good Grace” and “Whole Heart.” Debuting in December, “Good Grace” set the record as UNITED’s highest streaming street week career single, which “Whole Heart” subsequently broke by an increase of 12% upon its release in January. Collectively, “Whole Heart” and “Good Grace” have already amassed over 17.5 million global streams (including YouTube views) to date.

In support of their new music, the Australian-based worship collective will return to the United States for the first time in nearly three years for their highly anticipated USA Tour 2019. The arena circuit will kick off on April 25 in Austin, TX and include stops in major markets across the nation before culminating at New York City’s Madison Square Garden on July 2. Tickets are on sale now at hillsongunited.com.

Comprised of an evolving, eclectic mix of musicians and songwriters, Hillsong UNITED is undisputedly one of the genre’s most influential artists in the history of contemporary Christian music. The group has sold more than 4.7 million albums globally and garnered over 3 billion worldwide career streams to date. Their most recent album “Wonder” (2017) rocketed to No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Christian Albums chart and No. 21 on the Billboard Top 200 and set the record for the most streamed album in Christian music history (U.S.) during street week with over 4.6 million streams. Hillsong UNITED remains the No. 1 Christian artist on all social media platforms with over 10 million fans combined.

For more information, visit www.hillsongunited.com or @hillsongunited on all social platforms. 

About Hillsong UNITED: 
Hillsong UNITED is a multi-award-winning, platinum-selling artist whose chart successes (repeatedly no. 1 on Billboard’s Christian charts and up to #5 on Billboard 200) are only bested by the millions of lives they’ve impacted across the globe. Reporting over 50 million people singing from the Hillsong catalogue songs every Sunday, the modest band born from a youth ministry out of Hillsong Church in Australia, touts a reach of over 10 million across all major social network platforms to date, including 2.1 billion minutes garnered from YouTube viewers. Comprised of an evolving, eclectic mix of musicians and songwriters, the band is led by Joel Houston and Taya, names that have become synonymous with Christian radio, dominating airwaves with every new release. Their last four studio albums have each topped the USA Christian chart, with "Zion" and "Empires" charting no. 1 ("Zion" recently also went Gold in the US); “Oceans,” written by Houston and band member Matt Crocker recently went triple platinum in the States, counting 200+ million streams and reigning on top of the Christian songs chart for a record 54 weeks. In studio, on tour or at home, Hillsong UNITED is committed to writing songs that speak truth, create a unique sound and connect people everywhere with God, evident by the success they’ve seen globally. With over 50 countries and six continents visited, Hillsong UNITED continues to sell out arenas and stadiums around the world, including sold-out nights at the Forum, STAPLES Center and The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, The Toyota Center, Oracle Arena, Air Canada Arena, American Airlines Arena (Miami and Dallas), and Red Rocks to scratch the surface. Hillsong UNITED functions from the deep understanding that everything they do is an expression of a really extraordinary God doing what only He can do, through really ordinary people.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

We Hope for Better Things by Erin Bartels

About the Book:

The past is never as past as we'd like to thinkWhen journalist Elizabeth Balsam is asked to deliver a box of old photos to a relative she didn't know she had, the strange request seems like it isn't worth her time. But as she explores her great-aunt's farmhouse with its locked doors and hidden graves, she soon discovers just how dramatically some of the most newsworthy events of the previous two centuries shaped her own family. As she searches for answers to the riddles around her, the remarkable stories of two women who lived in this very house emerge as testaments to love, resilience, and courage in the face of war, racism, and misunderstanding.

Take an emotional journey through time--from the volatile streets of 1960s Detroit to Michigan's Underground Railroad during the Civil War--to uncover the past, confront the seeds of hatred, and discover where love goes to hide.

My Thoughts:
"I'd always had mixed feelings about maples.  While others pointed them out as happy harbingers of the cozy season to come, they had always seemed to me to be reckless- the first small flames of fall, each dropping leaf a burning ember that spread the fire until every tree was bare and dead and the November snows came like ash."  (p. 163-164)

This book!!  What a phenomenal way for me to re-enter the blogosphere!  This is a first novel, folks, and every bit of it is rich with beautiful language, multi-layered characters that linger in your heart, and a social taboo that covers generations!  WOW!!  I am blown away!

Bouncing back and forth between three different eras with varying scenarios in each generation of relationships - specifically relationships with romantic intent - between white women and black men. I'm hesitant to know if I can even use colors. Perhaps Caucasian and African American is more accurate.  Either way, this is a complex scenario, that, sadly, remains unimproved after all this time.

Bartels candidly addresses each scenario with historic accuracy - painfully so - and the way she ties all of it together will BLOW YOUR MIND!  This is brilliant!  Considering the climate around race relations these days, this book opens the door to some very rich conversations that need to be held among people of all racial groups.  Clearly, loving one another as Christ loved us is still a concept that escapes many.

I cannot wait to read everything this author produces!  She is a very talented writer indeed!  BRAVO!


About the Author:


Erin Bartels has been a publishing professional for more than 15 years. Her short story "This Elegant Ruin" was a finalist in The Saturday Evening Post 2014 Great American Fiction Contest. A freelance writer and editor, she is a member of Capital City Writers and the Women's Fiction Writers Association and is former features editor of WFWA's Write On! magazine. She lives in Lansing, Michigan, with her husband, Zachary, and their son, Calvin, and can be found online at www.erinbartels.com. We Hope for Better Things is her first novel.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Greetings from a Distance!

For everyone who has supported me during my blogging journey, I utter a humble thanks.  I've been struggling with some unexpected life circumstances for the past few months.  I've been unable to read and review books, and that has been difficult for me to accept. 

It is my intention to begin again in the New Year unless I'm led in another direction.  I apologize for my unexplained absence, but I'm very grateful for all that God has been doing in my life during this season.  He is abundantly faithful - no matter what!

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Called to Protect by Lynette Eason - REVIEWED


About the Book:
She'll have to draw on all of her resources to crack the case--and guard her heart.

After being dumped by her fiancé, Chloe St. John has decided that the only male she likes is her K-9 German shepherd partner, Hank. But being over the whole romance thing has perks--like giving full attention to her job. Attention she's definitely going to need because a case of human trafficking with connections to her missing cousin just landed in her lap.

Deputy US Marshall Blake MacCallum is in a race against the clock to rescue his kidnapped daughter when Chloe and Hank are asked to be a part of the task force assembled to bring down the traffickers. Chloe finds herself attracted to the silent, suffering man. But can she trust him? And can Blake trust himself around this firecracker of a woman?


Buckle in. This fast and furious ride will have your heart pumping from the very start.

My Thoughts:
Human Trafficking makes my heart quake, and Lynette Eason tackles this very difficult topic with a realistic, heart-pounding finesse that will have you reading into the wee morning hours!  The St. John family has devoted their lives to different aspects of law enforcement.  Chloe and her dog Hank create a fascinating partnership, and when she's asked to partner with the US Marshalls, as they attempt to break up a human trafficking ring.

This becomes personal when human traffickers begin to threaten law enforcement at the highest level. When traffickers expand their threats to innocent lives to manipulate their desired outcome those on the front lines become indirect targets! The story has multiple layers, and each layer uncovers a desperation and danger that will cause the reader's heart to race non-stop!  Be prepared for an emotional work out during this novel!  No one is safe, and there are some personal relationships that are pulled to the breaking point in a effort to survive the chaos!

I don't want to ruin any of the twists and turns, but I will tell you that Eason doesn't neglect romance and family as her plot unfolds.  She doesn't miss a thing!   So believe me when I tell you, this story has something for everyone!  The Blue Justice series is one you do not want to miss!!


About the Author:
Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of Oath of Honor and Called to Protect, as well as the Women of Justice, Deadly Reunions, Hidden Identity, and the Elite Guardians series. She is the winner of three ACFW Carol Awards, the Selah Award, and the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, among others. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and has a master's degree in education from Converse College. Eason lives in South Carolina with her husband and two children. Learn more at www.lynetteeason.com.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

The Secret of Lasting Forgiveness by Bruce Wilkinson - REVIEWED


About the Book:
God made your heart for love, joy, peace, and wholeness. So why isn’t that our normal experience? Why do so many of us feel inner turmoil? Could the problem be unforgiveness? Pastors estimate 90 percent of their congregations struggle with it. Do you? If so, get ready to be set free!


Through the teachings of Jesus, The Secret of Lasting Forgiveness reveals the link between our suffering and our unforgiveness. But it also shows how to forgive—for real and forever. Our story doesn’t have to end with the pain of our wounds. Whatever happened to us happened. But the God who made our hearts has shown a way through the wounds, back to the life and love that we were made for—a path to lasting peace.

My Thoughts:
I'm late posting this review, but the book is the reason I'm late.  See, God has used my blogging to bring books into my life for very specific reasons.  This book came to me during a season of letting go after my 23 year marriage ended. Forgiveness hasn't been easy to give or receive.  And God is using this book to help me move forward.

Dr. Wilkinson's approach is not very complex, but, it is rather challenging. You have to get past yourself to get to all of the richness of the freedom God offers through the lessons of forgiveness. This book breaks it down to a level where anyone at any stage of their walk with God will understand and be able to apply the truths of God's word to their situation.  I found it surprising to see what God brought to the surface...to show my areas where unforgiveness was lingering toward others, and I didn't even realize it!

This isn't a difficult read, and it isn't a particularly long read, but if you prayerfully move through each step, it takes a bit of time.  But it is worth the time and the effort!  I am happy to recommend this book to everyone!  This will take faith to a new level!

About the Author:
Dr. Bruce Wilkinson is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of over sixty books, including The Prayer of Jabez and Secrets of the Vine.  Bruce currently leads Teach Every nation, a Bible training movement educating church leaders who cannot access or afford traditional academic institutions.

Monday, July 30, 2018

River to Redemption by Ann H. Gabhart - REVEIEWED


About the Book:
One young woman must stand up for freedom--and perhaps find her own in the process.
Orphaned in the cholera epidemic of 1833, Adria Starr was cared for by a slave named Louis, a man who passed up the opportunity to escape his bondage and instead tended to the sick and buried the dead. A man who, twelve years later, is being sold by his owners despite his heroic actions. 

Now nineteen, Adria has never forgotten what Louis did for her. She's determined to find a way to buy Louis's freedom. But in 1840s Kentucky, she'll need all of the courage and strength she possesses--and more.

My Thoughts:

"But sometimes when fires is burnin' out of control, then a body has to do whatever he can to put 'em out.:  (p. 297)

When Louis spoke these words to Adria, several disastrous things had already taken place, and, at the moment, there seems to be nothing but trouble up ahead.  Things were changing rapidly, and Adria needs the wisdom only God can provide to make some very difficult decisions.

Oh, this book is amazing!  Reader, if you enjoy historical fiction with some romance tossed into the mix, then you will relish this book!  The prose will keep you interested, the characters will become familiar and dear to your heart, and you will find yourself torn between decisions facing the characters.  In the 1800's slavery made life difficult for everyone on both sides.  This book is written on the cusp of the Civil War, and slaves were already making their way to freedom any way that presented itself.  Adria's heart longs to help slaves to freedom, but Ruth and the town expect her to marry a man who can give her a secure future.  

Adria wrestles with societal norms of her day and the truth of what God has shown her in His word.  Ruth has her own issues to wrestle with when a new preacher comes to town with his own issues in tow.  There are many, many layers to this story, and I can highly recommend it to everyone!  There is much to love in this novel!

About the Author:
Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several Shaker novels--The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, The Blessed, and The Gifted--as well as Angel Sister, Small Town Girl, Love Comes Home, Words Spoken True, and The Heart of Hollyhill series. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky. Learn more at www.annhgabhart.com.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Star Passage : Honor and Mercy by Clark Rich Burbidge - REVIEWED

About the Book:
Book Three continues the saga as the ancient relic directs our travelers on a new quest. Mike meets a struggling new patient during therapy. Ronnie Chen thinks his life is over but the relic has a plan. The expanding group of friends band together as the relic leads them through extraordinarily dangerous historic passages. But this time their quest is complicated by the escape to the present of the Tracker, Clynt. Is there any hope of stopping him from taking control of someone, stealing the relic and leading thousands of evil Trackers in changing history and destroying the world?


The Carsons and their friends must pull together to resist the Trackers at every turn while dealing with a possible traitor in their midst. With the Trackers closing in and the travelers ever more desperate is there any hope of escape? Find out in the thrilling third installment.

My Thoughts:
"...the star can open up understanding, uplift, and help.  But is also can take its owners into incredible danger."  Tim (p.319)

I have been a HUGE fan of this series since it was published!  You can read my reviews HERE and HERE!  This installment gets very real very quickly.  Since the tracker Clynt became a viable threat, I couldn't figure out how the author would deal with a realistic outcome without exacting a heavy price on the Carson family and the friends that journey with them as the travel throughout history. The story didn't disappoint!

This installment deals not only with history's impact on our present time, but, in a very real and subtle way touches upon the spiritual realm and believer's impact there as well.  This is by no means a tale about spiritual warfare, but, for this reader, I was able to pick up some truths that I found both uplifting and challenging.  I think Jack, Martie and Tim come away from this journey forever changed!  I really believe fans of this series will also be impacted at a heart level and feel closer to these characters than ever before!

I am always thrilled by the author's ability to bring me into these stories!  I feel as though I've traveled right along with the kids on their journey! This story brings a realistic dose of danger, and no one comes away unscathed! I'm super excited about the way he ended this tale, because I know I have more to look forward to!  I cannot recommend this series highly enough!  I'm very much a grown up, and I love them!  I'm super excited to know that this kind of quality is available to young readers!

About the Author:

Clark Rich Burbidge was born and raised in the high mountain valleys of the Rockies. He earned an MBA from the University of Southern California and a B.S. from the University of Utah. His business career included exciting adventures in investment banking and three stints as a chief financial officer. The past seven years have found him pursuing causes to strengthen and protect youth while authoring eight books, six of which have been recognized with international awards for excellence. Involvement in family, community, and church service spanning over four decades has kept him balanced. Burbidge and his sweetheart, Leah, live near Salt Lake City, Utah, where they enjoy outdoor activities including mountain biking, road biking, hiking, and travel involving scuba diving, adventure, and warm sandy beaches. However, most of all they treasure sharing their lives with their blended family of ten children and six grandchildren.